Biomedical Research

- Biomedical Research (2013) Volume 24, Issue 3

Awareness, utilization and attitudes towards emergency contraception among women attending at a primary health care clinic in Durban, South Africa.

A high level of unwanted pregnancies among young women is an urgent public health problem in South Africa. The study sought to establish awareness, utilisation, and attitude towards the use of emergency contraception (EC) among patients seen at the Commercial City Reproductive Health Clinic in Durban, South Africa. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted by means of a self-administered questionnaire among 103 sexually active females between the ages of 18-49 years. More than two-thirds (72.8%) of the participants heard about EC and among them 85.3% had used EC. Among those who heard about EC, 53.3% of them heard about are from clinics. About two-thirds (63.1%) participants knew the correct timing when EC should be taken following sexual intercourse, and majority (73.7%) indicated that EC is used to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Majority (77.6%) of the participants displayed a positive attitude towards the use of EC. About a third (31.1%) of the participants reported that EC was against their cultural beliefs or religions. Majority (82.5%) also indicated to recommend EC to other women as a family planning method. Awareness of utilisation of EC was good among the participants. Most of the women displayed positive attitudes towards EC and perceived it to be beneficial. Health professionals should inform and alert women/clients on the consequences of unprotected sex, and guide them to make informed choices by means of adequate information regarding EC.

Author(s): U. Naidoo, L. Zungu, M. E. Hoque

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